In British Columbia, the law allows for the use of hands-free devices while driving a motor vehicle. But statistics show that this is a very unsafe activity. A person talking on a mobile phone, whether hands free or not, is 4 times more likely to crash.
According to research, and explained by David Teater, the Senior Director of Transportation Initiatives at the National Safety Council, it is impossible for a human being to multi-task when engaging in cognitive demanding activities. It is sequentially tasking and some humans are better than others at this. As he explains it, the human brain toggle tasks, going back and forth between two thoughts.
In addition to that, it takes more cognitive resources to have a conversation with someone outside your driving environment compared to talking to a passenger. When talking on a cell phone, the person is removed from your environment and cannot anticipate your cognitive load. A passenger, in most cases, can help a driver to drive safely. They can see if traffic is busy, or if an unforeseen circumstance arises. A driver may even ask a passenger to help navigate, or check if there is oncoming traffic, or bicycles in the bike lane.
Cell phone use is by far one of the most prevalent and dangerous acts of distracted driving, just by the nature of how often people engage in this unsafe behavior. Statistics show that at any given time, 9% of all drivers are using a cell phone when driving. Here at Klein Lawyers, we ask you to turn off your cell phone, including hands free, and drive cognitively and mindful.
For more info and videos on distracted driving visit the National Safety Council.